We have our first bits of intel on the four NHL series going on Wednesday. All four series played Game 1 on Monday, and now we have arrived at four Game 2s. Now, the entire regular season tells me more than one game does, but there is some information to be gleaned from those matchups that took place Monday. Here are my players to target, and to avoid, for your DFS lineup.
Antti Raanta, CAR vs. BOS ($27): If Frederik Andersen returns, he’s an easy call Wednesday. However, if Andersen can’t go, Raanta wins by the process of elimination. After Mike Smith’s performance in Game 1, I am not confident in any of these teams’ goalies in any of these matchups. Raanta may be Andersen’s backup, but the Hurricanes ranked first in shots on net allowed per game and penalty-kill percentage. It’s not all about Andersen.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Jack Campbell, TOR vs. TAM ($29): You are likely already concerned about Vasilevskiy given that he allowed five goals in Game 1 and is on the road against the team that ranked second in goals per game this season. However, I don’t trust Campbell just because he blanked the Lightning on Monday. Campbell had a .914 save percentage, and the Lightning ranked seventh in goals per game and are at full capacity offensively. This game should likely shake out a bit worse for Campbell, maybe a lot worse.
Phillip Danault, LOS at EDM ($18): Danault ended the regular season hot, notching 12 points over his final 13 games. He carried that into the playoffs, adding two points in Game 1. Smith had been hot for the Oilers, but his performance in Game 1 (four goals allowed on 35 shots) is a reminder that on the season he had a 2.81 GAA and .915 save percentage.
CENTER TO AVOID
Frederick Gaudreau, MIN vs. STL ($15): Gaudreau was plopped down on the second line for the Wild and tallied 44 points in 76 games, but he had previously never tallied more than 10 point in a season. There’s less of a track record here. Admittedly, Ville Husso doesn’t have any track record before this season either, but he had a 2.56 GAA and .919 save percentage and pitched a shutout in Game 1.
Zach Hyman, EDM vs. LOS ($19): Hyman averaged 2:24 per game with the extra man and tallied 10 power-play points this year. Right now, he’s on the first power-play unit, and he played 3:51 on the power play in Game 1. It didn’t lead to anything, but he Kings ranked 22nd on the penalty kill. As long as Hyman is getting power-play time, there’s opportunity here.
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Jordan Kyrou, STL at MIN ($18): The Blues are rolling their top three lines regularly, and Kyrou is the rare third-liner who is a point-per-game player, as he notched 75 points in 74 contests. The speedy winger also tallied 19 power-play points. I think the Wild may turn to Cam Talbot for Game 2, but even if they do this team had the 25th-ranked penalty kill this season. Plus, if Talbot was a world beater, he would have started Game 1.
WINGS TO AVOID
Jake DeBrusk, BOS at CAR ($17): DeBrusk’s season, and possibly his career, was salvaged when he was moved to Boston’s top line. However, talented linemates can only carry you so far, especially in such a tough defensive matchup. The Hurricanes ranked first in GAA, shots on net allowed per game, and penalty-kill percentage. Even with Andersen banged up, this is an extremely-tough matchup on the road.
Matthew Boldy, MIN vs. STL ($17): Boldy had an excellent rookie season, when he was able to take the ice, though he doesn’t have a point in his last three games. He also doesn’t have a power-play point in his last 12 outings. The Blues had fifth-ranked penalty kill, and Husso had a .919 save percentage. It’ll be hard to regain power-play form in this matchup.
Morgan Rielly, TOR vs. TAM ($22): Rielly was in peak form this season, tallying 68 points and 221 shots on net. He also had two assists in Game 1. Andrei Vasilevskiy is usually an elite, reliable goalie, but he was not in peak form this year, especially recently. Over his last 11 games he has a 3.35 GAA and .898 save percentage.
Torey Krug, STL at MIN ($18): I wanted Krug in Game 1 given his power-play prowess against the Wild’s 25th-ranked penalty kill, and it paid off with two power-play assists (plus one more at even strength for good measure). Why not run it back? Nothing has changed about this matchup, and Krug is still a guy who averaged 2:49 per game with the extra man and tallied 19 power-play points in 64 games.
DEFENSE TO AVOID
Charlie McAvoy, BOS at CAR ($21): McAvoy is similar to Krug in that he did a lot of his damage on the power play. Twenty-one of his 56 points came with the extra man. The big difference is that Krug has a favorable matchup. McAvoy is facing the league’s best penalty kill.
Darnell Nurse, EDM vs. LOS ($17): Nurse doesn’t play on the power play, so he won’t take advantage of the Kings’ 22nd-ranked penalty kill. Even with the penalty-kill struggles, the Kings had a top-10 GAA. How? Because they allowed a mere 28.5 shots on net per contest. Without power-play time, Nurse’s upside in this matchup is limited.